Curious name or not, son-in-law eggs are a favourite amongst Thai children, with their soft on the inside and crispy, chewy on the outside texture. Duck (or chicken) eggs are boiled then fried before being topped with a sweet and sour sauce, crispy fried shallots, crispy garlic, and if you’re an adult, chillies! Total yum!
In Thailand, these are often made with duck eggs but you can just as easily make them with hen eggs, if that’s your preference or if you can’t get the former.
How would you serve son-in-law eggs?
Easy enough, as a side dish in any Oriental based meal. Besides Thai, it will also go perfectly well with Vietnamese, Burmese, Chinese, Japanese and Korean dishes. You could keep it really simple and have some plain boiled rice, along with a meat or vegetable dish. Or, a generous menu could also have:
You can serve Kai Look Keuy warm or at room temperature but if it is part of a bigger meal, I wouldn’t worry so much, I have had it at room temperature in Thailand more often than hot.
How to Cook son-in-law eggs?
It does consist of a few little steps, but trust me, each step is pretty easy and quick. You can even cheat with a couple of these steps. If you have access to an Oriental store, go get the ready fried shallots and garlic and save yourself some time, if you fancy. But honestly, making them yourself really just adds about 5-7 minutes to the total time and also imparts a lovely flavour to the eggs as we’ll be using the same oil to fry them.
If you’re not keen on all that oil to fry the eggs, just cook the eggs sunny side up and follow the rest of the recipe.
I love using duck eggs and can get them easily. Duck eggs have thinner shells than hen eggs so be careful when cooking them, as you don’t want the shells cracking. Keep the eggs at room temperature ( I never place any eggs in the fridge) and lower them slowly into the boiling water with a spoon.
I have a confession to make: when I make these for my family, I always make an extra egg, because there is no way I can resist a bite between the kitchen and the dining table! The combination of creamy, soft egg yolks and the sweet and sour sauce is just impossible to resist!
Click here to read more and for how to use it. If you can’t get hold of tamarind, use 1 – 2 tablespoons of lime juice, taste the sauce as it’s cooking and decide how much you’d like. You are going for a sweet and sour taste.
Ready to cook?
- 4 duck (or hen) eggs
- 3 shallots
- 2 cloves garlic
- 3 sprigs fresh coriander leaves (cilantro)
- 125ml/half a cup vegetable oil
- 3 dried red chillies, kept whole
- sprinkle of red chilli flakes
- 2 Tbsp tamarind pulp, or 2 Tbsp shop bought ready paste/juice
- 5 Tbsp water
- 2 Tbsp fish sauce
- 1-2 tsp palm sugar
- Boil the eggs for 7 minutes for a soft yolk or 9 for a hard yolk. Put the timer on.
- When done, drain, rinse under cold water for 30 seconds, then leave in a bowl of cold water.
- While the eggs are boiling, slice the shallots, go for a medium thickness, you don't want them to burn when they are cooking.
- Slice the garlic widthwise, again, not too thinly.
- Finely chop the coriander leaves.
- Get a wok or a small, deep frying pan and heat the oil on medium high.
- Fry the shallots until they are a golden brown, then turn the heat down to medium and fry until they are a deep brown but not dark. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on a kitchen paper lined plate.
- With the heat still on medium, fry the garlic for 30 seconds, remove and drain. You need to be very quick with the garlic as it burns quickly and will be bitter.
- Next, fry the chillies for 20 seconds and drain.
- Peel the eggs, pat dry and fry in the same hot oil over medium high heat for about 5 minutes, until they get a golden brown, crispy coating. Be sure to turn them around to brown evenly. Drain on kitchen paper.
- When you are ready to serve, place all the sauce ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer.
- Cook for 2 minutes, while you slice the eggs in half and lay them on a plate.
- Taste the sauce, you are looking for a sweet and sour taste, but not too sweet.
- Pour the hot sauce all over the eggs and scatter the shallots, garlic, fresh coriander leaves, dried chillies and chilli flakes and serve immediately.